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05-15-2013, 03:15 PM #1
DOJ: Apple Tried to Fix eBook Prices
This week, the United States Department of Justice stepped up allegations that Apple engaged in a horizontal price-fixing scheme with regard to eBook prices. The tech giant, new documents filed by the DOJ reveal, conspired with huge publishers in violation of antitrust laws “to strip retailers of pricing authority.”
The department’s Antitrust Division filed papers for a trial set to begin June 3 in federal court in Manhattan that included excerpts of e-mails and depositions of Apple executives including the company’s late founder, Steve Jobs, and Senior Vice President Eddy Cue and publishing executives.
The U.S. first brought suit against Apple and leading industry publishers in 2012.
“Apple did not conspire to fix eBook pricing,” Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, said today. “We helped transform the eBook market with the introduction of the iBookstore in 2010 bringing consumers an expanded selection of eBooks and delivering innovative new features. The market has been thriving and innovating since Apple’s entry and we look forward to going to trial to defend ourselves.”
05-15-2013, 03:49 PM #2
I am sure plenty of people here on this site will still believe a spokesman for Apple over the justice department with evidence showing price fixing.
I read quite a bit in print, see quite a bit of mom and pop bookstores go down because they could not compete because of this. I hope justice department prosecute Apple to the fullest extent of the law, but I know what will happen is Apple will donate to some elected official's fund + make an apology of some sort and walk away with slap on the wrist.
05-15-2013, 04:29 PM #3
What about Walmart?
05-15-2013, 11:40 PM #4
It's the same reason digital comics have had a hard time taking off. The publishers think they should still be able to charge the same for a digital copy as they do for a physical copy. The problem is physical copies have value to collectors and digital have none. They have zero potential to appreciate in value. It's the digital music revolution all over again. Everybody would just download music illegally rather than pay $15-$30 bucks for an entire album on CD, where you only got a few good songs. It wasn't until Apple came along and put music at a no-think purchase point and gave it the ease of use that it was easier to just buy rather than to pirate. We're going through the same thing with printed media now. eBooks were essentially a non-starter until Apple got involved and made them mainstream. The downfall of "mom and pop" book stores is just a casualty of progress.
You either change with the technology or you die. Digital copies of books and magazines should cost at most 50% of physical copies. Apple's book pricing is far from the most important aspect of this scenario.